(Photo of TV by Nationals Enquirer staff. Ex-Nat Jason Simontacchi was the starting pitcher in Wednesday night's Caribbean Series game between Venezuela and Puerto Rico.)
"I think during the second half of the offseason, we are going to let a little bit of that come to us. We do think there is a surplus of people out there ... that we are talking about. There is nobody ... out there on the pitching market that is a difference maker."
(Mike Rizzo, via Nationals.com, 2/03/2010)
Give us your tired, your poor, your retreads.
Making a little joke there (ha ha) about Jason Simontacchi's availability on the market, since his name popped up just Tuesday in Nats Insider's "From NatsTown to oblivion" post. Oblivion apparently means Venezuela for Simontacchi, because, lo and behold, a night after a Vinny Castilla sighting, there's Jason Simontacchi on TV on MLB Network, starting for Venezuela in a 5-2 Caribbean Series win over Puerto Rico. True to his 2007-Simontacchian form, he pitched pretty well for four innings, then ran out of gas in the fifth. His line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5K, 1 HR.
Which brings us to a Nationals.com report Wednesday that the Nats are looking at Wang (*ahem*). Chien-Ming Wang, that is, making his way back from shoulder surgery. Given Mike Rizzo's quote (above) yesterday on Nationals.com suggesting there aren't any "difference makers" left on the market, one has to wonder if it's time to just get comfortable with a 2010 rotation that looks something like this (throwing Strasburg out of the conversation):
1: John Lannan
2: Jason Marquis
3 - 6: JD Martin? Scott Olsen? Ross Detwiler? Craig Stammen? Miguel Batista?
Nats Triple Play nailed it yesterday:
...the search has clearly shifted from legitimate free agent upgrade .... to the Nats old familiar haunt, Trader Jim's Bargain Bin and Retread Emporium.
In that spirit, maybe Simontacchi's not such a bad idea after all.
And then, there's always Livo. Wonder if Rizzo's called him back yet?
Starting now, we're not going to mention the name Orlando Hudson here until he signs. Somewhere. Anywhere. We're O-Dog tired of talking about the O-Dog.